Obituary of Lois Bernice Eller Long
Lois Bernice Eller Long, 102, passed away Friday, November 16 at Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody, WY. She was born in Meeker, CO on February 3, 1916. When she was a year old, she and her parents Claude (Doc) H. Eller and Dolly Lou Gillham Eller homesteaded on Strawberry Creek outside of Meeker. The following years were spent dry ranching with her two sisters and brother. The Eller siblings rode on horseback several miles to White Rock School, a one room schoolhouse, for eight years. Bernice then attended Meeker High School for two years, then moved away from home to Hayden, CO when she was 16. There she worked to pay her room and board at Shorty’s Diner so she could attend Hayden Union High School.
While in Hayden she met her husband to be, Phil V. Long. After he attended Utah State University, they were married in Craig, CO in 1938. They spent the first four years of their married life in a home they built in Steamboat Springs, CO. After World War II was declared, they went to Henderson, NV because they were unable to get parts for the auto body shop and service station that Phil owned. Phil then enlisted in the Navy Air Corps, and they were stationed at College Station, TX; Corpus Christie, TX; and San Diego, CA. During this time, Bernice worked at an asphalt plant and as a waitress at Hotel del Coronado. At the end of WWII the Longs moved back to CO, sold their home in Steamboat Springs, and built a home by hand in Meeker near Bernice’s parents. Their son William was born while they were in Meeker. They also lived for a time in Grants Pass, OR where Phil worked in construction.
Phil was then offered a job working for the Idaho State Tax Commission, and they moved to Moscow, ID, where their younger son Gregg was born. Phil was then transferred to Boise, where they lived for 39 years. Because education was very important to her, she obtained her GED in Boise then enrolled in secretarial classes. She went to work for The Bon Marche and Boise State College (now Boise State University) to help her sons pursue college degrees. She retired after 15 years in administration at Boise State College. While in Boise, Bernice was a very active member of The Order of the Eastern Star. She was elected as Worthy Matron of Adah Chapter #8, then was subsequently appointed as a Grand Representative of New Hampshire in Idaho. Phil and Bernice were also active Elks Club members and enjoyed their years of socializing and dancing at the club.
In 1994 Bernice and Phil moved to Cody, WY to be near their son Bill and his family. Phil passed away in 1997, and Bernice maintained her home in Cody until she was 97 years old when she moved into Absaroka Assisted Living.
Bernice is survived by her sons, Bill (Molly) of Cody, WY; Gregg (Debbi) of Boise, ID; granddaughters, Rebecca (Greg) Malter of Southlake, TX; Kendra (Paty) Longoria of Dallas, TX; Shea Long of Logan, UT; grandson Tom Long of Oakland, CA; and two great grandchildren Maddie and Jake Malter. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband; one brother, Robert Eller; two sisters Beatrice Eller Neish and Mabel Eller Small; and her mother and father.
A ceremony for Bernice will be held at Summers Funeral Home in Downtown Boise; 1205 W. Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83702, on Saturday, November 24th at 1:00 PM. A reception in her honor will immediately follow with the location to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in Bernice’s memory to be made to Shriner’s Hospital Burn Fund or a favorite charity of your choice.